Ilhabela, Brazil

Officially named Ilha de São Sebastião (St. Sebastian Island), but commonly just called Ilhabela, the “Beautiful Island”, just outside the coast of São Paulo state. A short fifteen-minute boat or ferry trip brings you to the relatively small island with a population of about 32 000, witch during holiday season quadruples. For most people that comes to Ilhabela do it for the beaches, sailing and surfing, there is also a lot of hiking trails in the mountains where seven tops reaches above 1000 meters

Ilhabela also has a history of being a hiding place of pirates and privateers, and has the largest graveyard of shipwrecks in whole Brazil, making it a paradise for scuba divers. We visited the island about ten years ago.

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Campos do Jordão – Brazil

At 1628 meters, Campos do Jordão, is the highest city in Brazil. The city is located in the east of the state of São Paulo on the border of the state of Minas Gerais. At this level you may experience some few degrees minus in the winter, although there is no snow to be seen even at the nearby mountains. Some of the wealthiest families in the state has a holiday residence in the city, and in the vacation times the city’s population more than quadruples.

The city has the nickname: “Brazilian Switzerland” due to strong architectural influences from the European alps area. We visited the city about ten years ago.

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Museu do Ipiranga, São Paulo, Brazil

The full name is “The Museu Paulista of the University of São Paulo/Museu Paulista da Universidade de São Paulo”, but are commonly called Museu do Ipiranga or simply Museu Paulista. The building was built as a memorial of the declaration of independence and it was opened as a museum in 1895. The museum has a collection of more than 125 000 items mostly from the São Paulo region, but also from rest of Brazil.

Unfortunately we where not allowed to take photos inside.

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Basílica do Santuário Nacional de Nossa Senhora Aparecida (Basilica of the National Shrine of Our Lady of Aparecida), Brazil

As a follow up on the previous post about Notre Dame, here is another impressive catholic church that is located in the city Aparecida just outside Rodovia Presidente Dutra (BR-116, the main highway between São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro) in the state of São Paulo in Brazil.

The exterior may not be as interesting as the Gothic cathedrals, but this is actually one of the largest church buildings in the world. And by “largest” I mean floor area. With its 12 000 m², it’s only surpassed by St. Peters Basilica in Vatican City. Compared to lots of churches that are surrounded by tall buildings in cities, this one being in the open, makes it quite visible in the landscape.

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